That start would come on Tuesday, when the Cardinals open a three-game series against the Astros.
Garcia was skipped this last time through the rotation after notifying the training staff of some unusual left-elbow discomfort. Garcia was sent back to St. Louis last Tuesday for a follow-up MRI exam, which came back showing no structural damage.
Though Garcia has not thrown his usual between-starts bullpen session, he did throw on flat ground with assistant athletic trainer Adam Olsen this weekend. The reports afterward were encouraging.
"He said he feels really good," Matheny said. "Nothing is in stone, but he's anticipating that he's making his Tuesday start."
Garcia is expected to join the team in Houston on Monday night.
The Cardinals have not divulged what their backup plan would be should Garcia end up not ready to go. Right-hander Joe Kelly, who is scheduled to start for Triple-A Memphis on Monday, would be an option if the Cardinals stop him from making that start. Memphis' scheduled starter for Tuesday is top pitching prospect Shelby Miller.